In his novel The Plague, Albert Camus wrote among others:
So everyone comes down into the streets, they deafen each other with talk, argue or lust after one another - and the town, under the red July sky, filled with couples and noise, drifts towards breathless night. (...) In the beginning, when they thought that it was a sickness like any other, religion had its place. But when they saw that it was serious, they remembered pleasure.
In this context, as well as in the context of the whole book, what does he mean by the quote "they remembered pleasure"? I cannot seem to find a way to correctly interpret this. What does the seriousness of the disease have to do with the remembrance of pleasure, lust, etc that he mentions? How does pleasure contrast with religion ("But") when taking into account the seriousness of the illness?